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View Poll Results: Which Sunbelt City is the next hotspot
Columbia SC 22 30.56%
Birmingham AL 14 19.44%
Abilene TX 4 5.56%
San Angelo TX 7 9.72%
Chattanooga TN 22 30.56%
Columbus GA 2 2.78%
Myrtle Beach-Conway SC 15 20.83%
Lakeland FL 5 6.94%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 72. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-12-2017, 11:41 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
5,296 posts, read 3,513,713 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MinivanDriver View Post
Well, in the middle of the last decade Birmingham had the second-lowest unemployment rate in the country and had a surge in household income. But there were two industries in Birmingham, banking and publishing, that were rocked in 2008. Before 2008, Birmingham was the third-largest banking center in the country. But two of the city's four super regional banks were snapped up with corresponding layoffs. And we all know what's happened to magazines.

However, Birmingham has enjoyed a surge lately that hasn't immediately shown up on the census, chiefly in terms of tech, distribution, and manufacturing. Meanwhile, with the provisions of Dodd Frank, the banking industry is finally climbing out the hole. All of this is happening while the downtown area is undergoing a nice overhaul. So if there's not another major dislocation to the economy, we're pretty confident about our prospects for growth.
Yes, I forgot the mention what happened with banking. I guess Regions is the only surviving HQ's?

I spent a month in Birmingham for work four years ago, and got to know the place fairly well. I was impressed with every aspect on my recent visit, including the newly positive opinion of Downtown. I feel Birmingham has a bright future.
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Old 03-12-2017, 11:48 AM
 
5,467 posts, read 2,306,085 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMatl View Post
Yes, I forgot the mention what happened with banking. I guess Regions is the only surviving HQ's?

I spent a month in Birmingham for work four years ago, and got to know the place fairly well. I was impressed with every aspect on my recent visit, including the newly positive opinion of Downtown. I feel Birmingham has a bright future.
There's Regions and Compass. Some of the key staff of Compass are now in Houston, but it doesn't look as if there will be a wholesale movement away from the city. On the other hand, smaller banks are moving into the market and growing. I know one out-of-market bank with a lot of assets that is seriously considering an HQ move because there's such bench depth here in terms of talent. But the loss of SouthTrust, AmSouth, New South Federal and some other mid-sized players left a mark.
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Old 03-12-2017, 11:54 AM
 
Location: Atlanta metro (Cobb County)
1,565 posts, read 748,003 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMatl View Post
Yes, I forgot the mention what happened with banking. I guess Regions is the only surviving HQ's?

I spent a month in Birmingham for work four years ago, and got to know the place fairly well. I was impressed with every aspect on my recent visit, including the newly positive opinion of Downtown. I feel Birmingham has a bright future.
I'm aware that ServisBank went through an IPO a few years ago and is growing, although is not as large yet as some of the previously independent locally based banks.

My impression is that the medical field is huge around Birmingham, including both research and practitioner components, and is the largest focal point of the UAB campus. That should be a steady growth engine for the area for many years to come.
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Old 03-12-2017, 12:15 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
5,296 posts, read 3,513,713 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MinivanDriver View Post
There's Regions and Compass. Some of the key staff of Compass are now in Houston, but it doesn't look as if there will be a wholesale movement away from the city. On the other hand, smaller banks are moving into the market and growing. I know one out-of-market bank with a lot of assets that is seriously considering an HQ move because there's such bench depth here in terms of talent. But the loss of SouthTrust, AmSouth, New South Federal and some other mid-sized players left a mark.
I'm not familiar with Compass, but good to hear about the potential new HQ move.

We went through the same thing in Atlanta in the 90's, when Charlotte sucked up all of our large banks with the exception of Trust Company - now SunTrust. They're still our only remaining super-regional bank HQ's, and it devastated the banking community at the time. It sounds like Birmingham is recovering nicely from the same sort of jolt to a major segment of their economy.
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Old 03-12-2017, 12:26 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
5,296 posts, read 3,513,713 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jas75 View Post
My impression is that the medical field is huge around Birmingham, including both research and practitioner components, and is the largest focal point of the UAB campus. That should be a steady growth engine for the area for many years to come.
Your impression is absolutely correct! We were actually there to visit a couple that had just moved up from Clearwater, due to the wife accepting a new job at UAB. They've fallen in love with the area already.

I used to have portions of UAB as a client a few years back, and I can tell you that they along with the other large Hospitals have a massive impact on the economy there.
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Old 03-12-2017, 04:30 PM
 
182 posts, read 143,918 times
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chattanooga
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Old 03-14-2017, 07:37 PM
 
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico
1,385 posts, read 1,692,527 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MinivanDriver View Post
There's Regions and Compass. Some of the key staff of Compass are now in Houston, but it doesn't look as if there will be a wholesale movement away from the city. On the other hand, smaller banks are moving into the market and growing. I know one out-of-market bank with a lot of assets that is seriously considering an HQ move because there's such bench depth here in terms of talent. But the loss of SouthTrust, AmSouth, New South Federal and some other mid-sized players left a mark.
I bank with BBVA Compass and yes, it seems the focus of operations is now in Houston for the most part.

I think the bank is actually now headquartered in Houston and the holding company is mostly what's still in Birmingham. It should be noted that BBVA Compass is a subsidiary of the Spanish banking conglomerate BBVA, which has a strong presence in Mexico. I think the focus on Houston is also to try to expand their reach among the U.S. Hispanic market.

I have a Spanish last name and it seems I'm always connected to a bilingual customer service representative with a Spanish accent. A few years ago I was surprised that this would be the case in Birmingham but then I realized that I was actually talking to someone in Houston whenever I called.

I started banking with Compass just after they were bought by BBVA in 2007. Compass itself had bought the former Western Bank in Albuquerque which was a local bank.
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Old 03-21-2017, 09:26 PM
 
Location: Fayetteville, Arkansas via ATX
1,255 posts, read 1,478,353 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mutiny77 View Post
Greenville does a pretty great job at marketing and of course has a model revitalized downtown, but it has not been among the Southern metros driving population growth at the highest rates in recent years. It has experienced healthy growth in recent years for sure (6.16% growth since 2010), but not chart-topping growth.

Here's the rate of growth for all of these metros from 2010-2015, with a few others thrown in.

Austin: 16.58%
Myrtle Beach: 14.66%
Raleigh (w/o Durham): 12.66%
Houston: 12.44%
Charleston: 12.03%
Orlando: 11.84%
San Antonio: 11.27%
Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, AR: 10.07%
DFW: 10.53%
Nashville: 9.54%
Charlotte: 9.44%
Savannah: 9.09%
Miami: 8.05%
Atlanta: 8.02%
Jacksonville: 7.72%
Tampa: 6.90%
Huntsville: 6.50%
Pensacola: 6.47%
Columbus, GA: 6.40%
Greenville: 6.16%
New Orleans: 6.14%
Lexington, KY: 6.02%
Corpus Christi: 5.66%
Columbia: 5.53%
Richmond: 5.23%
Asheville: 5.17%
The Fayetteville, Arkansas metro has been in Forbes top 5 "Best Places to Live" list the past two years. It really feels like growth is accelerating here, and it has been growing for years.

This area is full of optimism.
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Old 03-21-2017, 09:31 PM
 
Location: 352
5,122 posts, read 3,886,801 times
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Myrtle Beach is already a hot spot and has been for a while...it even managed to take a county away from Wilmington.

My vote is for Columbia. The city knows what they have are they're trying to put their cards in the right deck so it can take off.
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Old 03-21-2017, 10:01 PM
 
Location: 352
5,122 posts, read 3,886,801 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jas75 View Post
Based on the population growth rate, Myrtle Beach would be the leading "hotspot" of the metro areas listed. But it is not a particularly well rounded area, focused overwhelmingly on tourism and retirement, and considerably less affluent than the other major coastal areas of South Carolina (Charleston and Hilton Head Island).
Quote:
Originally Posted by jas75 View Post
Coastal South Carolina certainly has some very different communities - and Myrtle Beach fills a distinct niche compared to Charleston or Hilton Head. It's great for retirees looking for an affordable coastal area with plenty of recreation, but not so much for younger career oriented adults, or transplants looking for a more upscale environment.
That is just how Myrtle Beach is and everyone is fine with it. Myrtle is young and sprang up from nothing like the western sunbelt desert cities, and it managed to do so (still) without an interstate. And the boom you see now didn't really take off until the 2000's.

I wish Myrtle had a more diversified economy, but the region is fine. Myrtle Beach does it's role extremely well. And contrary to popular belief, families are moving there too. It's not just retirees. And there are professional jobs, though the tourism industry is a career for many people, and can be a good paying one too.

You can't get caught up in what's affluent and upscale. Myrtle may be the lowest earner of the 3, but it's also the cheapest. There are plenty of nice areas around Myrtle, and Charleston and Hilton Head/Bluffton aren't all beauty either. And in terms of economy, HHI and Myrtle are more similar than you think, Myrtle is just the "loud" one while HHI is the "quiet" one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cabasse View Post
Savannah and Charleston seem to be growing healthily since they're so desirable.
That and Charleston's economy is on fire right now. Even the airport is scrambling because the passenger numbers Charleston received in 2016 weren't expected until 2025. Savannah is doing pretty well too.
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